Words, Words, Words – Being Judged

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Two thousand years of Christian interpretation cast in radically different philosophical assumptions than was most of the Old Testament.  We often ‘hear’ later church definitions when reading the Old Testament rather than hearing the Hebrew terms for what they originally communicated.

‘JUDGE’ – What picture comes to mind?

If I SAY – Hebrews 9:27 It is appointed for men to die once and after this – judgment…


WHAT IF SAID – It is appointed for men to die once and after this – DECISION

RANGE OF MEANING  – krínō – to separate (distinguish), come to a choice (decision) to judge


Look at the picture that would come to mind for the readers of Hebrews:


Exodus 18:13-16 And Moses sat to judge the people, and the people stood about Moses from the morning until the evening. Now when Moses’ father-in-law saw all that he was doing for the people, he said, “What is this thing that you are doing for the people? Why do you alone sit as judge and all the people stand about you from morning until evening?”
15 And Moses said to his father-in-law, “Because the people come to me to inquire of God.  “When they have a dispute, it comes to me, and I judge between a man and his neighbor, and make known the statutes of God and His laws.”

Exodus 18:17-23 And Moses’ father-in-law said to him, “The thing that you are doing is not good.  “Now listen to me: I shall give you counsel, and God be with you. You.. teach them the statutes and the laws, and make known to them the way in which they are to walk, and the work they are to do.
21 “Furthermore, you shall select out of all the people able men who fear God, men of truth, those who hate dishonest gain; and you shall place these over them, as leaders of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties and of tens.
22 And let them judge the people at all times; and let it be that every major dispute they will bring to you, but every minor dispute they themselves will judge… and all these people also will go to their place in peace.”

GOD’S SYSTEM OF COMMUNITY – WISE, TRAINED men who fear God, men of truth, let them judge the people at all times

Deuteronomy 16:18-20 “You shall appoint for yourself judges and officers in all your towns which the LORD your God is giving you, according to your tribes, and they shall judge the people with righteous judgment.
19 ” You shall not distort justice; you shall not be partial, and you shall not take a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and perverts the words of the righteous.  “Justice, and only justice, you shall pursue, that you may live and possess the land which the LORD your God is giving you.

Words, Words, Words – Being Perfect

Sermon 5/15/16

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You shall therfore be perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect.


The fact that Hebrew shares more of its worldview with the East than it does with Western ways of thinking  complicates understanding.  Often, the modes of thought of the Ancient Near East are dramatically different than our modern scientific and technologically oriented ways of viewing the world.  For example, the English term “perfect” is often used to translate a Hebrew term (tamam).  However, while the term “perfect” is an attribute or quality term in English, the Hebrew word tamam is a relational term, meaning suitable or mature or appropriate.  Hebrew had no direct equivalent of the English word “perfect.”

 Two thousand years of Christian interpretation cast in radically different philosophical assumptions than was most of the Old Testament.  We often ‘hear’  later church definitions when reading the Old Testament rather than hearing the Hebrew terms for what they originally communicated.


EVEN GREEK THIS SENSE – teleios (tel’-i-os)  complete, full grown, of full age,  mature – going through the necessary stages to reach the end-goal

Imperative vs Indicative

Indicative Mood  – The indicative mood is a statement of fact or an actual occurrence from the writer’s or speaker’s perspective.  It may be action occurring in past, present, or future time.

Imperative Mood   – The imperative mood is a command or instruction given to the hearer, charging the hearer to carry out or perform a certain action.

Matthew 5:44 “But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,

LUKE ADDS –Luke 6:27-28  do good to those who hate you,  bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.









You shall therfore be perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect.

Words Words Words – Clearing the Dust of the Ages

Sermon 5/8/16

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Jesus Words of Life:

John 6:54-69 Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. 60 Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this, said, “This is a hard saying; who can understand it?”

When Jesus knew in Himself that His disciples complained about this, He said to them, “Does this offend you…? 63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.

THE WORDS I SPEAK – rhéma (from rhéo, “to speak”) – a spoken word, made “by the living voice”         rhéma (“spoken-word”) is commonly used in the NT for the Lord speaking His dynamic, living word in a believer to inbirth faith (“His inwrought persuasion”).

However – we have  problem – we don’t ‘hear’ the words He spoke in Hebrew or Aramaic. We hear English translated from the Greek through centuries of ‘translation.’

“The limits of my language mean the limits of my world.”   If we used a different vocabulary or if we spoke a different language, we would perceive a somewhat different world.

Hebrew Words – Hebrew is God’s heart language—the mother tongue of the Scriptures Jesus read. Hebrew is also an extremely rich, poetic language that looks at the world in very different ways than English.

Some ideas simply don’t travel well across languages and time. In order to taste the true breadth of expression of the Bible’s ancient words, you have to travel back mentally to their original Middle Eastern setting.

Romanizing the Jesus Movement Dr. Dwight Pryor

WHAT TODAY is called “Christianity” actually began as a messianic movement within Judaism. From its inception, the Jesus movement was thoroughly Jewish in its composition and culture. The Rabbi from Nazareth taught in the manner of other Jewish sages…

In subsequent centuries, however, the Hebraic foundations of the Gospel in the West were eroded or even excised under the weight of the prevailing Roman worldview. Some of the shifts were seismic, others were more subtle, but together their influence reverberates upon the Christian mind even today.

FOR EXAMPLE, by the end of the Fourth Century, the emperors Constantine and Theodosis had wed the church to the Roman Empire. What began as a persecuted minority sect metamorphosed into a persecuting majority, a triumphalistic State religion concerned more with worldly power than fidelity to the Kingdom of the gospels.

Theological shifts occurred as well. Preoccupation with the individual and the soul’s place in the afterlife displaced the Hebraic orientation of creating a new humanity, a renewed covenant community of people, reconciled to God and one another in love. The powerful redemptive work of Messiah that transformed lives became objectified in the sacraments… And the church which began as a redeemed community of committed disciples became an imperial organization composed of anyone willing to confess the Apostles’ Creed.

The multiple images of atonement found in the New Testament, all drawn from the Hebrew Bible – such as sacrifice, conflict and victory over evil, ransom and redemption, reconciliation, and adoption into a family – gave way to doctrinal “theories of atonement.” Justification and a juridical view of salvation began to dominate, conceived more in categories of retributive Roman law than the relational context of a Torah given in grace.

Y/H/W/H, Israel’s gracious God, became re-imaged in the popular mind after the likeness of Greco-Roman deities whose anger had to be appeased.

Luke 19:12-24 “A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and to return. 13 So he called ten of his servants, gave them ten minas, and said to them, ‘Do business till I come.’

15 And when he returned, He called his servants, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading.

16 Then came the first, saying, ‘Master, your mina has earned ten minas.’ And he said to him, ‘Well done, good servant; because you were faithful in a very little, have authority over ten cities.’

And the second came, saying, ‘Master, your mina has earned five minas.’ ‘…You also be over five cities.’

20 Then another came, saying, ‘Master, here is your mina, which I have kept put away in a handkerchief. For I feared you, because you are an austere man. You collect what you did not deposit, and reap what you did not sow.’

22 You knew that (perception) I was an austere man???

austéros (ow-stay-ros’) grim, severe, strict, exacting, harsh, rigid.